What does Valentine’s Day mean to you?

Valentine’s Day is traditionally thought of as a holiday to celebrate romantic relationships.

But when we asked our readers what the day means to them, they all said it’s about honoring your tribe of friends and family. Here is a sampling of what they said:

– It’s a good reminder to cherish my loved ones, every day of the year.

– My first instinct is to be jaded about a forced “greeting card” holiday designed to sell cards, flowers and candy, and before long I’m thinking about how the church made stuff up to usurp yet another pagan tradition – but then I take a deep breath and use the day as a reminder to be thankful for the ones I love and to make sure they know I love them.

– To cherish the ones who give you hope and joy.

Valentine’s Day, also called St. Valentine’s Day, has origins in the Roman festival of Lupercalia, held in mid-February. According to Encyclopedia Brittanica, the festival, which celebrated the coming of spring, included fertility rites and the pairing off of women with men by lottery.

At the end of the 5th century, Pope Gelasius I replaced Lupercalia with St. Valentine’s Day. It came to be celebrated as a day of romance from about the 14th century. Today it is a massive cultural and commercial celebration around the globe, although it is not an official holiday.

As Mother Teresa said, “Let us always meet each other with smile, for the smile is the beginning of love.”